Welcome to ToTG!

October 31, 2009

Scary Costume

The Candy or Mexican Food?

You Should Give Out Hot Tamales

You are a very spicy person, and you always like to put your own little twist on things.

You don't just make an appearance. You make an entrance, are the life of the party, and make a lasting impression.

You throw caution to the wind and do whatever you're gut is telling you to do. And usually, your gut is telling you to be bold!

You may be a little too much to take sometimes, but life would be extremely boring without you.

One of the questions was what is the worst thing to pass out on Halloween...one of the possible answers was "pennies. (I opted for "religious materials", something sure to get one's house egged, betcha)

"Pennies heated up in a frying pan" shoulda been an option.

October 30, 2009

A Little Too Much

To Drink

The Beej IS a Devil

a spoiled one

Your Pet Should Be a Devil for Halloween

Your pet is wild, out of control, and at times downright destructive. You can't help but wonder if you've adopted a devil.

It's likely your pet is simply young or lacking training. But that doesn't mean your pet isn't very evil seeming at times.

You love your pet, but he or she can be a real handful. You've learned better than to turn your back.

Your pet is very lucky to be so adorable. Your pet is cute enough to get away with murder... and knows it!

The Year Of The Cat - Al Stewart

Al Roker's Close Encounter

With an Ewok.

NOTE: This might push the "G" rating of this blog, but it was just too funny to not post.

Name That Car

"We give you a clue,you guess the car."

Name That Car

October 28, 2009

Color Me Black

Your Name is Black

Your name tells people that you are serious and sophisticated. Your name makes you seem like a total mystery.

You are elegant and a bit apart from everyone else. You are much more formal than those around you.

People see you as smart and together. You also come off as a bit eccentric, and others respect that you are different from them.

You can adapt well to most situations, but you never feel like you truly fit in anywhere.

Paint it Black - The Rolling Stones

Gas Scare

October 27, 2009

Something for the guy who has everything

Feeling a little chilly under that stocking cap? Tired of scalp irritation from wearing that fedora? You need an Undercap™! Fits most heads!

Only $11.95

DIY Confetti

October 26, 2009

October 14, 2009

Tornado Safety

Via Bits & Pieces


pukka \PUHK-uh\ , adjective:
1. Authentic; genuine.
2. Superior; first-class.

This word reads like something else, like an Italian after he's had too much to drink.

Andromeda in Ultraviolet

From NASA:

In a break from its usual task of searching for distant cosmic explosions, NASA's Swift satellite acquired the highest-resolution view of a neighboring spiral galaxy ever attained in the ultraviolet. The galaxy, known as M31 in the constellation Andromeda, is the largest and closest spiral galaxy to our own. This mosaic of M31 merges 330 individual images taken by Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope. The image shows a region 200,000 light-years wide and 100,000 light-years high (100 arcminutes by 50 arcminutes).

Image Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler (GSFC) and Erin Grand (UMCP)

The US Civil War In 4 Minutes

EDIT: 12/10/12

Sorry, but the video was taken down due to copyright issues. There are short trailers on the 'net, but I couldn't find the full video. You can purchase a copy here.

October 13, 2009

Actually, I'm looking for...

Miss Behaving

You Fall for the Sensitive and Romantic Type

You are a bit of an idealist when it comes to love, and you want to be with a partner who appreciates romance as much as you do.

You know you've found your soulmate when you're with someone you'd die for. You believe in sacrificing everything for true love, if necessary.

A simple "I love you," kiss, or even look can sweep you off your feet. You tend to get lost in the moment.

You believe in happy endings, and you're looking for a prince or princess willing to ride off into the sunset with you.

October 12, 2009

You Really Got Me - The Kinks

Stay tuned for the funny bit after the song.


exculpate \EK-skuhl-payt; ek-SKUHL-payt\ , transitive verb:
1. To clear from alleged fault or guilt; to prove to be guiltless; to relieve of blame; to acquit.

When I first saw this word, I thought I knew the definition, something to do with legal forgiveness, then the name "John Grisham" popped into my head. I got into a jag of reading legal thrillers several years back, shortly after Grisham's novels became so popular. Exculpate was probably used a few dozen times in all those books.

'The Golden Age of Video' -Ricardo Autobahn

Cool mashup of old and newer movies, some classic (some not) plus short TV clips.

October 11, 2009

Cast Away Count Contest

Just got up from watching the Cowboy game to see what was coming on afterwards, and noticed that "Cast Away" is beginning on the FX Channel now as I type.

I predict there'll be nine hits - or more - on my Cast Away posts. (there was one from Pasadena, CA earlier, about four hours + ago)

Gee, I hope I win something neat-o.


The movie ended five minutes ago, and a quick count shows 11 hits in the last forty minutes.

World Travel

World Travel

Click as close as possible to locations on the map. The faster the better ... Speed counts!

It was hard for me to suss out the between-question box, but after I got that figgered out, I still didn't do so well.

Yucky Day Today

Evil Woman - E.L.O.

October 10, 2009

My Heart Today

Will beat 102,778 times, pump 1,507 gallons of blood, and push that blood nearly 14,222 miles throughout my body!

Created by MyFitnessPal.com

New Storm Chasers Season 3 Preview

Hair's My Quiz Results

You Are a Mustache

You are eccentric and even a bit of a weirdo. You are a bit out of step with the mainstream, and you honestly don't care.

You have cultivated some unusual interests and practices. And you definitely have a sense of personal style that's highly unique.

You have a bizarre sense of humor. No one ever really gets when you are joking, and you tend to laugh at things that other people don't find funny.

You approach the world with sincerity. The problem is, no one else understands that you're being genuine.

Wow, big surprise considering I've had a moustache pretty much since I turned 18. I bet I haven't shaved it off more than a half-dozen times, and always started growing it again immediately after whacking it off.

October 9, 2009


convivial \kuhn-VIV-ee-uhl\ , adjective:
1. Fond of feasting, drinking, and good company; sociable.
2. Merry; festive.

Good word, good definitions.

Nothing wrong with being convivial.

Well, maybe if you cross the line into "drunkenness" and "gluttony"....

October 8, 2009

The U.S. of A shreds 7,000 tons of used currency each year.

This was from a "Facts" RSS feed that suddenly appeared in my Google Reader. I don't recall subscribing to it, but maybe I did a few weeks ago, then...as sometimes happens after adding a new feed...all the posts show up at once.

Anyway...the facts are cool, but the link is to some affiliate site, like this:

Europe is the only continent without a desert.:

"Get Facts To Your Cell Phone. Sign Up Now"

The link is invalid, because I cut a bit of the URL out of it. It goes to www.b4u.com and it doesn't look like a site I'd want to hang around.

I may keep using the facts, but cut out the URL to the website, screw 'em.


titivate \TIT-uh-vayt\ , transitive and intransitive verb:
1. To make decorative additions to; spruce.
intransitive verb:
1. To make oneself smart or spruce.

I didn't know this word, but I can use it in a sentence:

"She bought a brand new push-up bra in order to elevate, titillate and titivate."

October 7, 2009

Count Me In-Gary Lewis & The Playboys



Diet Big Red™ Soda

From the website:

If you're searching for a diet soft drink that tastes great and tastes as good as or even better than the original flavor, you should try Diet Big Red. Diet Big Red was one of the first diet soft drinks to offer Splenda brand sucralose as a non-nutritive sweetener. The growth of this brand over the last ten years has far exceeded the growth of other diet sodas. It's a delicious, easy to drink diet soft drink.

I couldn't have said it better! I've been looking for a decent diet soda since I found out I have diabetes. I used to drink regular Coke™, but their diet offerings leave something to be desired. I never drank much Pepsi™ , but their diet soda is much better than Coke™, which isn't saying a lot.

The flavored pop is OK in diet; I've tried orange and root beer and they're not too bad (they HAVE to be super-cold or over ice for me to drink them) but this last week Big Red™ was on sale and I bought a 12-pk. It was delicious and without the horrid aftertaste that most diet sodas have.

When I was a kid, we used to drink Fanta Red Cream soda with our hotdogs at the Coney Island Cafe here in town, but I haven't seen it in a store in a long, long time. Momma used to buy us the Faygo brand strawberry soda; it was a cheaper product and came in stubby little bottles. We didn't care, though; it all tasted good and gave us the required sugar rush!

Anyway...I highly recommend this soda if you drink the diet kinds.

Original Post 8/21/09

Am bumping this up because ToTG was mentioned on the Big Red™ Twitter page.

World Record!

Fastest time ever in hide-and seek.

Black Holes Go 'Mano a Mano'

From NASA:

This image of NGC 6240 contains new X-ray data from Chandra (shown in red, orange, and yellow) that has been combined with an optical image from the Hubble Space Telescope originally released in 2008. In 2002, Chandra data led to the discovery of two merging black holes, which are a mere 3,000 light years apart. They are seen as the bright point-like sources in the middle of the image. Scientists think these black holes are in such close proximity because they are in the midst of spiraling toward each other -- a process that began about 30 million years ago. It is estimated that they holes will eventually drift together and merge into a larger black hole some tens or hundreds of millions of years from now.

Finding and studying merging black holes has become a very active field of research in astrophysics. Since 2002, there has been intense interest in follow-up observations of NGC 6240, as well as a search for similar systems. Understanding what happens when these exotic objects interact with one another remains an intriguing question for scientists. The formation of multiple systems of supermassive black holes should be common in the universe, since many galaxies undergo collisions and mergers with other galaxies, most of which contain supermassive black holes.

It is thought that pairs of massive black holes can explain some of the unusual behavior seen by rapidly growing supermassive black holes, such as the distortion and bending seen in the powerful jets they produce. Also, pairs of massive black holes in the process of merging are expected to be the most powerful sources of gravitational waves in the Universe.

Image Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/C.Canizares, M.Nowak; Optical: NASA/STScI

Eye See

Deep Down You Are Sensitive

You're the type of person who notices everything and forgets nothing. You are very in tune with the world.

You feel deeply, and sometimes the silliest things can effect you. You are easily brought to laughter or tears.

You don't show the world how fragile you are. You instead show people how insightful you can be.

You are good at anticipating what's going to happen in your life. You are often the first one to see what's coming.


foofaraw \FOO-fuh-raw\ , noun:
1. Excessive or flashy ornamentation or decoration.
2. A fuss over a matter of little importance.

1. Describes this blog.
2. Describes my attempt at this blog.

October 6, 2009

Face Project

Face of Jesus at the Cross of Our Lord, Groom Texas

Here's a photo I've published before, but put a simple frame around it and softened the edges with my FotoSketcher program.

October 5, 2009

Spell Quizzer

This came in the mail earlier, just after my previous post (below). That's fast.

I read your review of Spelling City today in your blog. I've also developed an educational program for Windows called SpellQuizzer that helps children learn their spelling and vocabulary words. It really helped my children with their weekly spelling lists.

I see that you blogged about SpellingCity.com today. SpellingCity is indeed an excellent free tool for teachers and parents. But there are some advantages that SpellQuizzer offers over SpellingCity.com:
  • SpellQuizzer doesn't require an open Internet connection. Many homeschoolers prefer not to have their young children working on a computer with an open Internet connection due to all the undesirable material that is on the Internet. With SpellQuizzer there is no need to expose children to the world wide web.

  • SpellingCity.com doesn't have recordings of all the words one might wish to practice. For those it does have the sentences used aren't personalized. With SpellQuizzer you can make spelling lists for literally any words (or even facts) you wish your child to practice with. The recordings you make are in your voice rather than a stranger's. And you can personalize the recordings and even make them funny with an amusing sentence or funny voice. I always try to throw in some funny ones for my daughters such as "Handsome: Your daddy is the most handsome man on earth." That one got snickers. :-)

  • Spelling City has annual fees while SpellQuizzer is a one-time payment of $29.95. You can use it for life after that and never spend a penny more.

  • SpellingCity.com may well be around for ever. Or it may go down for good tomorrow. There's no way to know for certain. A person who purchases a license for SpellQuizzer has the software for life whether I stay in business or not.
As I said, SpellingCity.com is an excellent free resource and I don't mean to attack it in any way with what I've said above. I'm only pointing out reasons one might prefer a product like SpellQuizzer. I would appreciate your reviewing or posting about SpellQuizzer in the Top of Texas Gazette. If you would like to host a giveaway for one of your readers I'd be happy to provide a free license to the winner. You can learn more about the program at


There's a video demo you can watch at Demo and a community site where SpellQuizzer users can share their spelling lists with one another. I'd be happy to send you a complimentary license for the software. Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you very much!
Dan Hite
TedCo Software

Spelling City

Spelling tests made easy

SpellingCity is a fun online spelling program.

SpellingCity.com has:

- Over 42,000 spelling words and ten learning games!

- A REAL person who says each word and sentence.

- Free home pages for teachers and parents to save lists.

- How To Videos to explain to teachers and parents how to use SpellingCity.com.

- A free forum and newsletter with more vocabulary and spelling resources!
- Ten spelling and vocabulary games to play online or to print.

- Free printables for handwriting practice with your saved lists.

- A Resources Section which highlights features and existing lists for Dolch words, compound words, sound-alikes (their, there, they're), contractions, possessives, and more.

Why dogs and cats are better than kids

From Bits & Pieces:

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:

(1) eat less,

(2) don’t ask for money all the time,

(3) are easier to train,

(4) normally come when called,

(5) never ask to drive the car,

(6) don’t hang out with drug-using people;

(7) don’t smoke or drink,

(8) don’t want to wear your clothes,

(9) don’t have to buy the latest fashions,

(10) don’t need a gazillion dollars for college and

(11) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children …


esurient \ih-SUR-ee-uhnt; -ZUR-\ , adjective:
1. Hungry; greedy.

I normally don't listen to the audio pronunciation, but this time I did; the voice said "enwind", nothing like "esurient".

It's a good word, "esurient", to describe someone both hungry and greedy; however, it's a poor combination to be.

The Heart of Darkness

NASA image from the Herschel Observatory


Some of the coldest and darkest dust in space shines brightly in this infrared image from the Herschel Observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important participation from NASA. The image is a composite of light captured simultaneously by two of Herschel's three instruments -- the photodetector array camera and spectrometer with its spectral and photometric imaging receiver.

The image reveals a cold and turbulent region where material is just beginning to condense into new stars. It is located in the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, 60 degrees from the center. Blue shows warmer material, red the coolest, while green represents intermediate temperatures. The red filaments are made up of the coldest material pictured here -- material that is slightly warmer than the coldest temperature theoretically attainable in the universe.

Image Credit: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech

Download Image

October 3, 2009

Incense & Peppermints-Strawberry Alarm Clock

Bad vid, but it was the only semi-decent one I could find w/ the original band members.

I'm pretty sure they're lip-synchin', too.


raffish \RAF-ish\ , adjective:
1. Characterized by or suggestive of flashy vulgarity, crudeness, or rowdiness; tawdry.
2. Marked by a carefree unconventionality or disreputableness; rakish.

I'm a little more raffish than my momma would've liked. I don't think it was all of it laid directly on me, but also that some of the women I've dated fit the description more than than I did.

Ransom Note Generator

From the website:

1. Do some crime.*
2. Enter your ransom note text in the box to the right.
3. When done, click "Generate Ransom Note".
4. A printable ransom note will be created for you.

*Note: Use for entertainment purposes only.

Ransom Note Generator

October 2, 2009


incarnadine \in-KAR-nuh-dyn\ , adjective, verb:
1. Having a fleshy pink color.
2. Red; blood-red.
transitive verb:
1. To make red or crimson.

There, I made the link incarnadine.

October 1, 2009

Fury Forments Fish Frying Fit

Cops: Woman fried, ate goldfish amid fight with ex

From AP Pasadena, Texas goldfish jump

A Houston-area woman was so angry at her former common-law husband that she fried the family goldfish and ate three of the seven.

goldfish bowl Good Grief.

I'm not gobsmacked so much by the woman eating them; shoot, if you've already cooked 'em up...but no, I'm trying to wrap my head around this creepy act of revenge committed by a woman who is obviously a stand or two off bottom, yet the semi-brilliant thing is she probably knew there's a good chance of not being charged with any crime.

Why do dogs pee on hydrants?

Via Bits & Pieces

Why do dogs pee on hydrants?:

Dog_hydrantDogs—like all other canids—leave urine conspicuously splashed on all manner of object. Urine marking, as this method of communication is called, conveys a message. Every dog owner is familiar with the raised-leg marking of fire hydrants, lampposts, trees, bushes. Most marked spots are high or prominent: better to be seen, and better for the odor to be smelled.

From observations of the behavior of sniffing dogs, it appears that the chemicals in the urine give information about, for females, sexual readiness, and for males, their social confidence. The prevailing myth is that the message is “this is mine,” that dogs urinate to “mark territory.” But research has failed to bear this out as the exclusive, or even predominant, use of urine marking. Instead, marking seems to leave information about who the urinator is, how often he walks by this spot, his recent victories, and his interest in mating. In this way, the invisible pile of scents on the hydrant becomes a community bulletin board, with old, deteriorating announcements and requests peeking out from underneath more recent posts.

Read more about a dogs world.


Partial to a Plum-Colored Plymouth

You Are a Confident Purple Car

You're definitely an unusual person. Some people may even call you "weird" or "freaky."

Luckily for you, you don't care what others think. If anything, you enjoy it when people think you're strange!

You are offbeat and eccentric. You see the world a little differently than everyone else does.

You are seen as mysterious. People are very curious about you... whether they know you well already or not.

NOTE: I don't know if the vehicle shown in the small graphic at the top of the quiz results actually IS a Plymouth. I don't care, either. Might be a Studebaker for all I know.

Just sayin', just in case someone wanted to correct me.

Horse Laugh

Q: What did the horse say when he fell?

A: I've fallen and I can't giddy up!


Insect Origami

When I first saw this older post at Crooked Brains, I thought of our late online friend Brad in Kentucky and how much he would have liked all these examples of one of his favorite hobbies.

Included in the post are other fascinating examples of origami plus links to origami sites.


100 Greatest Hits of YouTube